At nine weeks into the NCAA Football season, we’ve reached the point where it starts to become clear which teams are truly worthy of their rank and which are not. In Week 9, certain overrated teams will show their true colors.
The pressure is mounting for Notre Dame. At 7-0, the BCS has the Fighting Irish ranked fifth in the nation. They still have something to prove before they’re taken seriously as legitimate challengers for the national championship.
The No. 8 Oklahoma Sooners host the Fighting Irish Saturday evening. The Sooners rank fifth in the nation for points scored—averaging just over 44 points per game. On the other hand, Notre Dame has averaged just below 26 points per game.
The only thing that stands out about the Fighting Irish is their defense. Their second-place defense has stopped some pretty impressive foes. They went three consecutive games without allowing a touchdown.
The Sooners, who have been on a warpath since losing to Kansas State, will prove that Notre Dame can’t rely solely on their defense.
Another team that stands on its defense is Mississippi State. Take away Miss State’s ninth-ranked defense, and there’s nothing left to make them worthy of being ranked 11th.
The Bulldogs face their first ranked opponent Saturday when they take on No. 1 Alabama. Alabama has put up at least 40 points in all but two of their seven games this season. T.J. Yeldon, Eddie Lacy and Alabama’s stellar running game won’t be slowed down by Miss State’s defense.
To some extent, the Miss State Bulldogs can be considered overrated simply due to their division. Even though they’re 7-0, they haven’t been challenged yet. Alabama will show them what a real SEC powerhouse can do.
Georgia, the other SEC Bulldogs, will continue to show the colors that came out during their Week 6-loss to South Carolina.
At the time, Georgia was ranked No. 6 and South Carolina was ranked No. 5. Their Week 6-matchup was the first time either team faced a ranked team. South Carolina ended up sending the Bulldogs home with a 35-7 loss and their tails between their legs.
Georgia’s offense has proven to be well-rounded. Neither their passing nor running play stands out, but they’re somewhat proficient in each department. Quarterback Aaron Murray leads their passing game with 16 touchdowns while Todd Gurley leads the running play with nine touchdowns.
But Georgia is just another SEC team that doesn't meet challenges. Saturday’s game against No. 2 Florida will be their second game against a ranked opponent. The Bulldogs beat Kentucky by such a small margin last week that it’s hard to believe they will rise to the challenge of their standout conference opponents.
The Bulldogs likely won’t find themselves in the Top 10 by the end of Week 9. Unfortunately, because of their relatively easy schedule, they may creep back in to the Top 10 by the end of the season.
Week 9 can be viewed as a turning point for the BCS rankings, because now is the time when teams either solidify their ranks or start to fall off the radar. Those teams will show their true colors, and it will be evident which teams do and do not deserve their ranking.